Breaking Down Every Solo Act From BLACKPINK: From JENNIE’s “SOLO” to JISOO’s “ME”
BLACKPINK don’t shine only as a group. Jennie, Lisa, Rosé, and Jisoo are superstars on their own, and each have pursued solo careers that translate their singular allures.
“Everytime I show up, blow up,” BLACKPINK sings on their debut single, “Whistle,” as if predicting the future. Since then, every step taken by the smoldering quartet grew larger and larger, until they became a worldwide storm — recognizable by people who can barely pinpoint South Korea on a map.
Dubbed “the biggest girl group in the world,” and Time’s 2022 Entertainer of the Year, BLACKPINK have collected a litany of accolades, chart-topping hits, and brand deals throughout their nearly seven years together. From fashion weeks all over the world to a virtual in-game concert on PUBG Mobile, “BLACKPINK in your area” has never been a more accurate tagline.
With last year’s Born Pink, BLACKPINK became the first K-pop girl group to sell more than two million copies of an album. Born Pink was also the first album by a female Korean act and by an all-female group in over a decade to top the Billboard 200 chart upon release, evidencing their popularity and the work of their highly-committed fandom, BLINK. The group is currently amidst their Born Pink World Tour, and is also set to headline Coachella later this month — once again, becoming the first Korean group to do so.
But BLACKPINK don’t shine only as a group. Jennie, Lisa, Rosé, and Jisoo are superstars on their own, and each of them have pursued solo careers that translate their singular allures. From Jennie’s 2018 “Solo” to Jisoo’s fresh debut “Flower,” GRAMMY.com breaks down all of the quartet’s solo endeavors.
JENNIE – “SOLO”
It was up to rapper and vocalist Jennie to kickstart the group’s solo debuts. On Nov. 12, 2018, she released the straightforward “Solo” — a minimalistic pop single that showcases both her sweet timbre and sassy rap lines. “Used to be your girl / Now I’m used to being the GOAT,” she sings, while parading a slew of lavish outfits that helped establish her as a fashion icon.
“Solo” was a phenomenon upon release, topping Billboard’s World Digital Songs chart. Its choreography went viral and the track became YouTube’s most viewed music video by a female Korean solo artist within 24 hours.
While there are no plans for an official comeback, Jennie has been performing the unreleased solo “You & Me” as part of the setlist for Born Pink World Tour. She is also set to make her acting debut later this year on HBO’s series The Idol.
ROSÉ – “R”
More than two years later, on March 12, 2021, vocalist and dancer Rosé finally unveiled her debut album, R. With writing credits on both title track “On the Ground” and second single “Gone,” Rosé laid bare an intimate version of herself and her struggles.
“I worked my whole life just to get high / Just to realize that everything I need is on the ground,” she sings over the electropop twinges and guitar plucks of “On the Ground.” Elsewhere on the album, the acoustic ballad “Gone” catches her heartbroken with a “hit and run” love story.
R was also a sweeping commercial success, setting the highest first-week sales by a Korean female soloist at the time. The music video for “On the Ground” earned an impressive 41.6 million views in 24 hours on YouTube, breaking Psy’s “Gentleman” record for the most viewed music video by a Korean soloist in that same timeframe. The song became the highest-charting by a Korean female soloist in the United Stated by peaking at No. 70 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
While there are no official solo comebacks on the horizon for Rosé, the New Zealand-born, Australia-raised star sings alone on Born Pink’s disco-inspired “Hard to Love.”
LISA – LALISA
Just six months after Rosé, rapper and dancer Lisa debuted with her own album, Lalisa. Featuring a titular track and B-side “Money,” the September 2021 release also broke several records, including the highest first-week sales among all Korean female acts, with 736,221 copies sold.
A reference to her birth name, Lalisa Manobal, and filled with allusions to her Thai roots, the album reintroduces Lisa as a splendid, unforgettable performer. “Remember my name that’s standing right in front of you / Love you some L-A-L-I-S-A,” she boasts on the title track, as if the world needed another reminder.
Both “Lalisa” and “Money” charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 84 and No. 90, respectively, and the latter became the first song by a female K-pop soloist to chart for multiple weeks. In October 2021, Lisa furthered her global appeal by co-writing and co-composing “SG,” a moombahton collaboration with DJ Snake, Ozuna, and Megan Thee Stallion. Last year, she became the first solo K-pop artist to win both an MTV Video Music Award for Best K-Pop Video for “Lalisa,” and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best K-pop.
JISOO – ME
A year and a half after Lalisa, Jisoo concluded BLACKPINK’s solo debuts with single album Me, out, March 31. The vocalist and burgeoning actress (best known for her roles in South Korean dramas like “Arthdal Chronicles” and “Snowdrop”) presented her sublime elegance through title track “Flower” and B-side “All Eyes on Me.”
Both songs follow minimalistic EDM melodies, allowing Jisoo’s unique tone to shine as she seeks freedom in the lyrics. In “Flower,” she warns an ex-lover that “I fly away like a blue butterfly / It’s all on you that you didn’t hold on,” while “All Eyes on Me” sees her defying anyone to “Hold your breath and watch me, I’m a movie.”
Like her bandmates, Jisoo also broke records — she is now the first K-pop female solo artist to become a million-seller, with Me exceeding 1.31 million pre-orders as of March 30, and surely more milestones are to come in the following weeks.
Most importantly, Me finalizes a long-winded chapter in BLACKPINK’s history. Although single albums feel more like teasers for the larger-than-life quartet’s true talents, they proved that each member is able to hold their own distinctive musical career. Hopefully it won’t take another four years to see them harness more of that power.
Kristal Jane M. Cruz
I love you Unnies'💕🥰
Geneizsa Mae Rumeral
i'm waiting blackpink in your area:)